Making latex less kinky was Léa Dickely and Hung La’s task for spring. “Latex is a bit subversive, but we like to say that we have a sense of humor at Kwaidan Editions,” said La, cofounder of the London-based label. “For us, luxury isn’t just about double-faced Italian wools; there are other ways to look at things. We’re always about what’s lying underneath.”
Two different types of the material were used on the runway, both done in understated pastel colors to shake off any residual tackiness. It was particularly convincing when used on a simple gray square-neck dress strappy dress, its suppleness making it almost look like leather. On a high-necked shirtdress in fluorescent yellow, the liquid-looking latex popped. “Usually latex is very body conscious, but we used it like a fluid fabric for draping,” La said. The material was also spotted on a denim jacket, coating the fabric and seams entirely in a powder pink gumminess.
In addition to the pastel shades, inspired by Belgian painter Luc Tuymans, simple shapes were made outstanding by the use of fluorescent colors. A neon green structured suit was particularly pleasing on a rainy Parisian day, especially when paired with the brand’s first shoe design, an Eighties-style pointed mule in bright yellow, vermillion or dirty white.
Oversized raincoats looked almost striking when paired with silver earrings created in collaboration with jewelry brand Pearls Before Swine, while faded-looking Seventies housecoats looked pleasingly out of place. These were welcome jolts of nostalgia, only to be dragged back into present day by an almost simplistic black jacket and gray trousers combo, worn with on-trend dad trainers. Time traveling made chic.